Validation of biomarkers for the study of environmental carcinogens: A review

Valentina Gallo, Aneire Khan, Carlos Gonzales, David H. Phillips, Bernadette Schoket, Erika Gyorffy, Livia Anna, Katalin Kovacs, Peter Møller, Steffen Loft, Soterios Kyrtopoulos, Giuseppe Matullo, Paolo Vineis

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46 Citations (Scopus)


There is a need for validation of biomarkers. Our aim is to review published work on the validation of selected biomarkers: bulky DNA adducts, N-nitroso compounds, 1-hydroxypyrene, and oxidative damage to DNA. A systematic literature search in PubMed was performed. Information on the variability and reliability of the laboratory tests used for biomarkers measurements was collected. For the evaluation of the evidence on validation we referred to the ACCE criteria. Little is known about intraindividual variation of DNA adduct measurements, but measurements have a good repeatability irrespective of the technique used for their identification; reproducibility improved after the correction for a laboratory factor. A high-sensitivity method is available for the measurement of 1-hydroxypyrene in urine. There is consensus on validation of biomarkers of oxidative damage DNA based on the comet assay and chromatographic measurement in blood while urinary measurements by chromatographic assays are well validated, and ELISA-based assays appear to lack specificity. Immunoassays for the quantification of adducts of N-nitroso compounds are useful for large epidemiological studies, given their sensitivity, the small amount of DNA required and their potential for rapid and high-throughput analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-534
Number of pages30
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2008



  • 1-hydroxypyrene
  • DNA adducts
  • Environmental carcinogenesis
  • N-nitroso compounds
  • Oxidative damage to DNA
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Gallo, V., Khan, A., Gonzales, C., Phillips, D. H., Schoket, B., Gyorffy, E., Anna, L., Kovacs, K., Møller, P., Loft, S., Kyrtopoulos, S., Matullo, G., & Vineis, P. (2008). Validation of biomarkers for the study of environmental carcinogens: A review. Biomarkers, 13(5), 505-534.